Tony LoCasto understands the challenge he faces is without equal. He and his 39-person crew maintain the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, eight acres of Manhattan that pay tribute to those who died in the attacks on Sept. 11. The site resides in one of the most densely populated business centers in the world.
"We're here to put on the best face possible for the 9/11 Memorial," said LoCasto, chief engineer at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum grounds for ABM Services. "We're here to make sure no one forgets."
LoCasto's crew works hard to ensure the grounds look immaculate. They cut grass, clean pools and fountains, perform janitorial services and ensure that the lights are always lit on the memorial. The winter months present the difficult task of removing snow, ice and debris from the grounds, all while navigating among visitors to the Memorial and the pedestrians of the usual hustle and bustle of New York City.
"It's a hard, ongoing effort. We have to continually be aware of our surroundings. It's a very delicate plaza. It's all stone—very smooth and slippery when wet," he said. "The surfaces include polished concrete and granite cobblestones and pavers."
To maintain the grounds, the crew has deployed AriensCo products like Gravely tractors and Ariens snow blowers and power brushes since 2011. The fleet of equipment helps ensure the property on the former site of the World Trade Center remains as clean as possible 24/7, no matter what weather Mother Nature throws at New York City.
"The Ariens and Gravely machines are easily operated and enable the operator to maneuver around the more than 400 trees and many lamp posts that decorate the plaza," LoCasto said. "The equipment is fantastic and always performs up to expectations."
The crew first uses the blowers to remove the heavier snow. Then, the power brush comes through and clears the rest. LoCasto said that the brushes are one of the best tools they have and leave the grounds looking spotless.
"The cleaner the surface, the less risk we have, he said. "The power brush does a good job. It gives me the clean surface we need, and it reduces the amount of ice melt we have to use."
LoCasto said the Ariens products also offer the durability and ease of use that he and his crew require, citing the turnkey startup and low maintenance requirements as key selling points. The Ariens Power Brush certainly helps LoCasto's crew perform a noticeably impressive job day in and day out.
"We definitely get pats on the back for keeping the plaza clean and clear," he said.
"We're here to put on the best face possible for the 9/11 Memorial," said LoCasto, chief engineer at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Grounds for ABM Services. "We are here to make sure no one forgets."
Besides the power brush, LoCasto deploys multiple Ariens Hydro Pro 28 snow throwers. He said the track drive system was one of the main reasons for purchasing the machines. A couple added benefits are that they start easily and they don't slip on the plaza, which the operators especially appreciate.
LoCasto knows that there's no margin for error. The crew has to be ready for any type of weather, any time of day, all year-round.
"We have had a great relationship with AriensCo over the years," LoCasto said. "We're extremely happy with how well the machines perform. They help us keep the plaza clean and safe. We want this to be a safe place for loved ones to come and reflect. I think we’re able to achieve that."